article is a direct response to a publication I recently read in the U.S.
News & World Report magazine called “A Nation of Pirates”.
Due to the rise in popularity of on-line file sharing the, R.I.A.A
(Recording Industry Association of America) has been mounting a huge
offensive, directed toward anyone, and anything directly involved in
on-line file sharing. Declaring
a loss of 26% (and steadily increasing) in CD sales since 1999, copyright
infringement law suits were discriminately directed at the major file
sharing software companies.
The R.I.A.A scored an early and promising victory over their first mark,
Napster. Although Napster
wasn’t the first of its kind, it was the most popular, making it an
obvious prime target. Nevertheless,
since then, the R.I.A.A and The Motion Picture of America conglomerates
have failed to bring down the successful, more intelligent, successors of
Napster: Morpheus, Kazaa,
Grokster, and Limewire.
Due to better technology, programming, and the fact that most of
these companies are based beyond the jurisdiction of American copyright
infringement laws, they have escaped the wrath of the R.I.A.A.
Now in a seemingly act of desperation, they have turned their
attention to the individual users. Redirecting
the threatening dialect of lawsuits and hefty fines, the users of the file
sharing community are now the prime targets, of what the R.I.A.A.
executives might call ”anti-terrorism” tactics.
These are the facts. And
let’s face it, it is impossible, yes I said it! Absolutely Impossible
for the recording industry, or anyone else for that matter, to crack down
and target every individual involved in file sharing - Impossible.
I have three reasons for my claim:
First of all, the action of file sharing and swapping is deeply seeded in
being a “computer person”. I
remember in the early days (way before the internet) cruising bulletin
boards looking for new games and software to download.
Then turn right around and share them with my other peers - And
this is when I was twelve or thirteen years of age!
Nothing has changed.
Second, there is an issue of personal privacy involved.
In order to obtain evidence, the recoding industry will have to
have some sort of legislation passed where they can then “tap” your IP
address, monitor all the port traffic, and decode the packets. The “Honeypot”
technology, (false sites reeking of entrapment), has been employed by the
recording companies to lure their victims into such activities.
Initially, these “Honeypots” act as
an investigation starting point and in this manner they are rather
effective. However, there
aren’t many of them out there. To counter these traps this is all I am
going to say: If you are going to walk through a mine field all you need
is a little intelligence (consult with your peers - share information),
common sense (if something doesn’t look right, or feels funny, it
probably is), and a great mine detector (lists of known “Honeypot”
traps - they are out there if you look).
Thirdly, and this lesson comes from the principles of Mother Nature
herself….There is safety in numbers!
And we also have a huge advantage: We are much smarter than our
predators. It’s in no
doubt; if the R.I.A.A is absolutely committed to their cause, they will
catch a few unsuspecting people – maybe even dozens.
But the R.I.A.A will succeed only if the unscrupulous subjects are
made examples of, and even more so if they become myths and/or urban
legends. You know something
like this: “A friend, of a friend, of a friend, got caught downloading
the new song by 50 Cent. And the R.I.A.A came down on him and boom! 3
years in jail, and 150,000 dollars in fines!!”.
A little extreme? Yes. But you know how
stories spread. And Yes! We
also have clever minds, always thinking of “The new way”.
An example shown clear and taught by the Napster successors.
Every trap they put out, every obstacle that is put up, becomes the
question that hackers have to have the answer to.
Standing on the last leg of resistance to the onslaught of on-line file
swapping, the R.I.A.A will ultimately be its own demise.
Ignoring the obvious need and wants of the people and clinging to
the primordial ways of their business, will certainly be their downfall.
The music industry has shunned what they should have embraced. Knowing
that the ship has sailed, leaving them stranded, they are failing to
become a part of a new world forthcoming.
The solution to the problem doesn’t lie in a court room it lays
in the office, at the negotiation table. In order to survive, the Music
Industry needs to work with the innovators, the creators, and the minds,
the pioneers, those who have created and engineered this new and exciting
“Technology will always be in a state of progression. It has been proven
all throughout our known time. It,
being an integral part of the human spirit, body, and soul, cannot be
contained. As long as the
free mind exists, this equation is forever locked into eternity. “
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